U14 - Westmeath LGFA Under 14 Final (Div C)

posted 14 Oct 2019, 02:48 by Matthew Ryan

 Garrycastle 5-14    Loughnavalley 2-07

Our under 14 girls finished off a tremendous season with victory in the county final on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Rochfordbridge. Loughnavalley sent a free wide with the first attack of the game but the next five minutes were all Garrycastle as they went on a blitz that saw them score a goal and five unanswered points.  Hazel Donegan scored the goal from close range, and points quickly followed from Kacey Mulvihill (two frees), Ella Dowling, Nessa McNamara, and Roísín Murphy. Loughnavalley finally got on the board from a free, but Hazel Donegan responded with a point, and then a long range shot from Tegan Foley sailed all the way to the net. Hazel Donegan followed another Loughnavalley free with a point before Loughnavalley converted a penalty. Garrycastle didn’t let the concession of a goal affect them and another good attack saw Tegan Foley score a fine point.  Then came the move of the match which saw the ball transferred all the way up the pitch and after a brilliant catch on the run Kacey Mulvihill played in Ella Dowling who fired a low shot to the net.  The sides then exchanged two points apiece, Kacey Mulvihill from a free and Ella Dowling for Garrycastle, before Hazel Donegan scored her second goal to leave the score 4-10 to 1-4 at half time. 

The second half was a tighter affair as both teams started to tire in the soft underfoot conditions and Loughnavalley deserve huge credit for never giving up despite the large deficit. Ella Dowling kept the scoreboard ticking over with a free followed by a point from play and then Meliagh McDonagh pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the square before firing high into the net.  The game went into a bit of a lull after that as both sides made changes before Loughnavalley enjoyed their best spell of the game scoring a goal and three points while Garrycastle missed some great goal chances at the other end.  However, it was Garrycastle who scored the last two points of the game, courtesy of Ella Dowling and, fittingly, Jessica Frawley, who deserved her score after an outstanding individual performance.  

Aside from the scorers, the rest of the Garrycastle players are deserving of great praise, starting with both keepers, Kayleigh Clyne, who pulled off a super save midway through the first half, and Gemma Duffy, who was making a welcome return to action after a long lay off with injury.  The backs were superb all through, with Emma Kearney and Amy McGovern doing very well in their battle on the right hand side with Loughnavalley’s two most dangerous attackers while Jasmine Molloy put in a powerful display at full back particularly in the second half. Emma Connaughton made some crucial interceptions at different stages while Arlene Devery and Orlaith Lynch rivalled Tegan Foley and Jessica Frawley as the squad’s best performers on the day. Moya McKiernan teamed up well with Kacey Mulvihill on the left hand side of the attack while substitutes Grace Costello and Eve Murphy were full of energy off the bench.  

This victory rounded off a super season for these girls who have lost only one competitive match all year, a narrow and controversial loss in the National Feile Division 4 quarter final against eventual winners and Longford champions, Clonguish.  Many thanks to Colin Clyne and his back room team of Geraldine Griffith, Noelle O’Donnell, and Anne Kearney, who have put in a huge effort with this talented and enthusiastic squad, starting as far back as mid-January when they held the first of almost eighty training sessions, and ending with this very enjoyable and well deserved win.

The committee would like to thank u14 team manager Colin Clyne and his backroom team of Ger Griffith, Noelle O’Donnell and Anne Davin.